Immigration Issues/Cap-gap travel



in short my situation is like this:
- OPT and F-1 expire July 1st
- H1 has been approved for October 1st
- Therefore I fall into the new provisions that extend my OPT until October 1st
- Waiting for the new I-20 from my university that will reflect the OPT extensions

- I need to travel internationally after July 1st and return before October 1st.  Will I be able to take my new I-20 to the American embassy in my home country and get my F-1 renewed until October?  Will this be sufficient for me to return?

It seems to be a gray area with no definitive answer so far so if you know the answer, I would be most grateful!


The USCIS has stated that you can reenter on F prior to Oct 1st change to H. It would have been fine if you had a valid F visa. But in your case obtaining a F visa for couple of months may be risky. The immigration rules are not that flexible to allow for all possibilities.

I suggest that you not to do this, if it is absolutely necessary to travel you could leave the country and come back on H visa.

Ramasamy Krishnan

Immigration Issues

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Ramasamy Krishnan


Immigration particularly business immigration and National Interest Waivers.


I have over 7 years of experience in all facets of immigration law. Specifically focusing on filing of National Interest Waivers (NIW), Alien of Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Researchers/Professors petitions for Ph.D's and other advanced degree professionals. I have also assisted clients in numerous PERM, H-1b, L and other nonimmigrant visa applications. I am a partner at the law firm Ashley & Krishnan,

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